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ARB clears under-fire architect

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An architect at the centre of complaints about the management of a scheme in Rutland has been cleared of 14 charges of unacceptable conduct and serious professional incompetence.

Anthony Rodgers, from the Market Harborough-based practice B & R Partnership, was hauled before the ARB's disciplinary committee for failing to check whether a plumber involved in the work was Corgi-registered.

According to evidence presented to the board, defects in the heating system at the home of Royal Air Force commander Tim Behets, part of a project managed by Rodgers in 2000, had led to a number of 'safety' concerns.

However, on Friday the architect was found not guilty of both failing to provide supervision and of failing to make adequate enquiries about the plumber's registration details.

He was also cleared of providing inadequate documentation and drawings, agreeing contract extensions and of failing to request regular identification of subcontractors.

In relation to two other complaints, the ARB's professional conduct committee did find that Rodgers had failed to explain details of the work to Behets.

But the board did not regard either of these two complaints as amounting to unacceptable conduct or serious professional incompetence.

Rodgers accepted there had been 'shortcomings' in the way the contract was carried out and admitted he had 'not followed up the plumber's Corgi registration'.

He also confirmed he had received a letter from the Health and Safety Executive in relation to his responsibilities, which he accepted were important.

However, he maintained that the plumber had used 'unauthorised labour' and had lied to him about it.

'It was a difficult job, a very intrusive job - occupied jobs are more difficult, ' Rodgers said. 'In hindsight I should have checked the plumber was Corgi-registered. I have letters showing I tried to ascertain that.' He said he had carried out site inspections for an hour or more and had 'condemned' some of the work, particularly the decoration.

'It was a very traumatic time, very upsetting - not only for Mr and Mrs Behets, but for myself, ' he added.

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